Rebecca’s Nose Is Smutty: Smuttynose Half Marathon 2013 Recap

My dear wife, Rebecca, has written a race recap of the 2013 Smuttynose Half Marathon!  I’ll have my own coming up, but I wanted to share it with you all.  Without further ado, Rebecca’s Race Recap:

This is a beautiful and pretty flat loop course. It starts and finishes in a rather touristy and typical New England beach town which is empty of anyone but locals and runners because it is October. The race forecast was for mid 50s the entire time and about a 30% chance of rain the entire time. That chance was a reality for before the race and then towards the end with intermittent light showers. Pretty good running conditions actually.

I positioned myself towards the front of the last of 5 wave starts because that’s where my slow self belongs, in front of the walkers but with other less speedy folks. I ended up getting a warm up in when I ran and found a beach motel who let me use their employee bathroom as an emergency pre-run bathroom break was a necessity and made it back to the start with just enough time to encourage a first time half marathon runner.

The first mile or so involves a few turns around the blocks of the center of the beach town. The start was not clearly marked and there was a lot of confusion. Thankfully people ran over the starting mats and that’s how I knew we had started-I ran over the timing mats. I took it slow the first mile and let people pass me, going at a comfortable pace for me. I didn’t want to be breathing hard during the first half of the race because I was just going out there and hoping my injured toe let me finish the race. My toe injury had kept me inside on the treadmill and with three-four runs per week for the last month. I’d still done 12 and a few 10 milers in training but I wasn’t as trained as I wanted to be.

After the first mile and we left the town we had small hills from mile 2-5.5 and I was passing people on the hills. I started following two women with their names on their backs during this time. From this point we ran out of the commercial beach part of town and into some residential areas. The leaves were changing and there were some nice water views and then beautiful residential neighborhoods. I was feeling good and running by feel and not breathing hard at all, including on the hills. I did have to stop and retie my shoes after the left one came untied. I did this as quickly as possible and double knotted them for good measure, right before the 5 mile water stop.

I managed to run and drink without making too much of a mess this entire time. I was still feeling really good. at this point. Around mile 6 I started to wish I had taken a powergel at the mile 5 water stop and started to look for the mile 7 stop so I could take one. They were handing out hammer gels right before the mile 7 water stop so I grabbed a gel with caffeine from my flipbelt-which worked so well for carrying gels-and choked it down and then thankfully had water to wash it down. I wish I had taken one at 5 and one at 9 instead of one at 7 but I had enough energy for the race-barely. At this point I was just starting to breathe hard but I had no idea what time I was at or what pace I was running at because I left the garmin and watch at home. There were no course clocks-which I had been counting on to make sure I didn’t go out too fast and blow up. I figured I would just keep running at a comfortable but slightly challenging pace and see where it took me and if my toe held up and let me finish. It hadn’t been hurting after the first couple of miles so I figured I would hang on. At mile 8 I got super excited-only 5 miles to go-that’s less my normal mid week run now. At mile 9 is where the mental game started with doubts creeping in as more and more people around me started to walk up the small hills we were encountering.
I said to myself that I didn’t do those hot, sweaty, humid runs on the sandy roads of Chappaquiddick all summer just to walk in this race and kept going.

At mile 11 we were getting back into the stretch between town and the residential areas which is beautiful and downhill mostly of sort of marshy stretches of beach grass with the ocean on the side and some deciduous trees that are changing colors right now. This is where everything started to hurt except for the breathing. My legs started to show the treadmill restriction due to the toe injury and that sucker started to throb and my hips were starting to whine. Mind over matter is the only thing that kept me moving, telling myself once we hit the 10 mile mark that I can run a 5K no matter what and I didn’t come this far just to not do my best and keep moving.

Mile 11-12 was definitely the worst physically and mentally. I couldn’t yet tell myself only a mile to go and that I can do anything for a mile and everything hurt. I started to have to pee and that was a motivating factor to just move faster!

Mile 12-13 was just that I could tell myself I can run a mile and don’t quit. I still had no idea of my time and whether I would reach my goal.

In mile 12-13 at the beginning the lead marathon runner passed me and it was so motivating.

Hitting the marathon 26 marker was awesome, because only a quarter mile and RUN!

Mile 13 marker and it is spitting rain and I am so wet and I can just taste the ocean air of the finish and I just want to get there and get my clothes and get warmer and dry and use those real bathrooms and the delicious handwarmers which I knew gave out really hot air which would feel so good on my frozen hands.

I picked it up and passed a couple women who looked to be around my age and saw DH and our friend cheering me along the side and crossed finally and then promptly was elbowed aside by a woman who finished after me but couldn’t wait to turn off her iphone tracker until she wasn’t going to clock someone standing still. Got my space blanket-it was cold and wet-and found DH, got my bag from the check-almost couldn’t get clothes on and thankfully got my calves rolled out and stretched by the PT’s volunteering because I have never had my calves seize up like that after any run.

The reward for all this? 11.5 minutes PR in the half from last year and a toe that was mostly healed which is now resembling a sausage again.


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